ST. FRANCISVILLE — After two meetings, the new West Feliciana Parish Council has established a record, for now, of taking care of business quickly. From gavel to gavel, Monday’s meeting took barely 20 minutes, but the council still managed to take care of some important public business.
The council approved an ordinance creating a new legal department and giving Parish President Kevin Couhig the authority to appoint a parish attorney, who must then be approved by the council. The attorney can be either an individual or a law firm, and can be employed either full-time or part-time by the parish. The attorney may also be assigned administrative staff, who will be considered employees of the parish. The Home Rule Charter gives the council the authority to create a legal department.
Until now, the parish relied on legal counsel from District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla or his representative, Assistant District Attorney Mike Hughes, who has advised the council and police jury for many years. That arrangement will continue until the new legal adviser is confirmed by the council.
According to the ordinance, the new arrangement will not negate any special counsel that may have been hired prior to the adoption of the ordinance. After very little discussion, the council voted 5-0 for the ordinance.
The council also reappointed five members to the West Feliciana Parish Hospital Board of Commissioners: Current board President Leonard Sullivan, Mitch Brashier, Dr. Adam Whatley, Kevin Bearden and Melvin Harvey. One other applicant, Erin Rabalais, was nominated, but was not discussed.
An ordinance authorizing the purchase of three tracts of land by the parish along La. 964 also was introduced and the council set a public hearing on the proposal for 5:30 p.m. on March 14 in the council meeting room in the Courthouse Annex.